By Rev Paul N. Papas II
January 31, 2017
If you’ve been in a store lately you’ve seen a lot of red trying to entice you to purchase your Valentine gifts, cards, and chocolates before you leave the store.
The history of Valentine’s Day seems murky as there is more than one St Valentine. One thing is clear today there are a lot different ways Valentine’s Day is celebrated around the world to include mass weddings, dressing up in special costumes, and one of a good day to become engaged.
There are some Christian roots in Valentine’s Day. There is an ancient Roman fertility god tradition for the same day.
Whatever the actual origin of Valentine’s Day might be it has become a day of hearts, chocolates, flowers, and romance. It’s a day when sweethearts share some special time together. Married couples can rekindle their romance by celebrating Valentine’s Day in a special way.
This is all well and good for people who are involved or married…..if you’re single Valentine’s Day could be a traumatic experience and quite depressing.
Valentine’s Day festivities are geared for couples.
It is common for singles who struggle with depression to see the world around them paired off while they are not to have their depression worsen. They feel inadequate or feel less than because they are not with someone special. There are also singles that choose to be single.
Singles who struggle with depression; anniversaries, birthdays, holidays can cause sadness, irritability, and deeper depression. Knowing your triggers can help you get through and move past the tough days with a little planning ahead. If you know a time period is going to be difficult plan to do something other than sitting alone on your pity potty. The more time you spend on your pity potty then more you will probably spiral downward.
Depression is a treatable medical condition that many have overcome or learned to live with it is not something that occurs from lack of character, weakness or laziness. Unfortunately the stigma of the words ‘mental illness’ has been weaponized and demonized to the point many are afraid to come out the shadows to seek help. I have previously published several articles about this over the years, especially concerning veterans.
A break-up or loss of a loved one at anytime can be tough to deal with. Anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays can add an extra burden. One way to grieve is by finding away to express your sadness, you’ll find it healing. Finding a good listening ear is a well known way to get through tough times, whatever they might be. A walk or a shower can help you feel better also. Staying in bed will not be helpful for the depressed or grieving and you could end up on your pity potty.
I firmly believe that each one of us can do something to help someone else. A timely smile, an encouraging word, a listening ear, perhaps a hug, or helping in a way you can is very good medicine for the giver and receiver. It could be just the hearts and flowers that were needed at that moment.
Go forth and spread those hearts and flowers each day.
Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ)